It’s right up there as a basic thing everyone should know how to make…and yet so few of us do. A great chicken stock has a litany of uses in your home cooking arsenal, from consommés and soups, to stews with greater depth of flavour – once you figure out how much better the stuff you make tastes compared with store-bought stock, you’ll never go back (plus, you have the added benefit of knowing exactly what goes in… i.e. no preservatives or chemical nasties). Make a big batch. Freeze it in 1 or 2 cup containers so it’s easy to defrost at will.
1 whole chicken (ask your butcher for a boiler as they have more flavour)
2 carrots, halved
1-2 sticks of celery (leaves and all), coarsely chopped
1 brown onion (skin and all), halved
2 bay leaves (fresh is best, but dried will work too)
1 handful of sea salt flakes
1 tbs whole peppercorns
2 garlic cloves, whole, skin on
A few sprigs of flat leaf parsley
- In a large stock pot, place the chicken and cover with water.
- Bring the water to a boil. As soon as it reaches a rolling boil, remove the pot from the stove and pour out the water. Wash the chicken thoroughly to remove any scum and thoroughly scrub the pot.
- Place the pot back on the stove and onto a medium heat. Add a table of olive oil and gently fry off the onion, bay leaves, garlic, celery and carrot for 2-3 minutes until fragrant but not coloured.
- Add the chicken and parsley and cover with water. Add salt and peppercorns.
- Bring the pot to a boil and then turn down to a low heat and allow to simmer for 4-6 hours, regularly skimming the fat and scum that rises to the top.
- After simmering, strain out the chicken and vegetables (reserve for soup or stew…never waste the good stuff!) and pour the stock through a muslin cloth for a clear stock.
- Chill the stock in the fridge for a few hours. Once cold, skim the remaining fat off the surface and decant into containers to store in the freezer. Can also keep in the fridge for several weeks so long as you boil it before using.